Soft Honey Nougat

These festive little candies make tempting Christmas treats to stuff into stockings or share with guests.


Soft Honey Nougat

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Servings: 35
Yield: 35 pieces
Prep Time: 20 mins
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Ingredients
  • 1 1/2  cups 
    hazelnuts
  • 1 1/2  cups 
    dried cranberries and/or cherries
  •  
    Butter
  •  
    Cornstarch
  • 1 1/2  cups 
    sugar
  • 1   tablespoon 
    cornstarch
  • 2/3  cup 
    light-colored corn syrup
  • 1/2  cup 
    water
  • 1/3  cup 
    honey
  • 2   
    egg whites
  • 1   teaspoon 
    vanilla
Directions
1.
Spread hazelnuts in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a 350 degrees F oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown, watching carefully and stirring once or twice so nuts don't burn. Cool slightly. Place nuts on a clean kitchen towel, fold over towel to cover nuts. Rub vigorously to remove the skins. Coarsely chop hazelnuts. In a medium bowl combine chopped hazelnuts and cranberries. Set aside.
2.
Line an 9x5x3-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray or heavy foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Butter the foil; sprinkle with a small amount of cornstarch. Set pan aside.
3.
In a 2-quart saucepan combine the sugar and the 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Add corn syrup, water, and honey; mix well. Bring to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to dissolve sugar, 5 to 7 minutes. Avoid splashing mixture on side of pan.* Reduce heat to medium. Carefully clip candy thermometer to saucepan.
4.
Continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until thermometer registers 286 degrees F, soft-crack stage. Mixture should boil at a moderate, steady rate over entire surface, about 25 minutes. Watch closely at the end as temperature will rise quickly. (Adjust heat as necessary to maintain a steady boil.)
5.
Remove saucepan from heat; remove candy thermometer from saucepan. In a large mixing bowl, immediately beat egg whites with a sturdy, freestanding electric mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Gradually pour hot mixture in a thin stream over egg whites, beating constantly on high speed and scraping sides of bowl occasionally, about 3 minutes. Scrape sides of bowl again. Add vanilla. Continue beating on high speed for 3 to 4 minutes or until candy begins to lose its gloss. When beaters are lifted, mixture should fall in a ribbon, mounding on itself, then slowly disappear in the remaining mixture. The final beating should take 5 to 6 minutes.
6.
Immediately stir 2 cups of the fruit and nuts into candy. Quickly turn candy into prepared pan; spread to corners. Sprinkle top with remaining 1 cup fruit and nuts. Lightly press fruit and nuts into warm mixture. While still warm, score into pieces. Let stand about 3 hours or until completely cool. When cool, use foil to lift candy from pan. Cut into pieces using a hot knife. Wrap in plastic wrap. Store in refrigerator up to 1 week or in freezer up to 4 months. To serve, unwrap and place in waxed candy cups or bonbon cups. Makes 35 pieces.
Variation
  • Golden Pineapple-Macadamia Nougat: Prepare as above except substitute coarsely chopped dried pineapple and/or golden raisins for the cranberries, and substitute toasted macadamia nuts for the hazelnuts.
Tip
  • * If mixture splashes onto side of pan, cover saucepan for about 1 minute once mixture boils. The steam will cause the sugar to dissolve.
Nutrition information
Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 120, Fat, total (g) 4, chol. (mg) 1, sat. fat (g) 0, carb. (g) 21, Monosaturated fat (g) 3, Polyunsaturated fat (g) 0, fiber (g) 1, sugar (g) 19, pro. (g) 1, vit. A (IU) 0, vit. C (mg) 0, Thiamin (mg) 0.02, Riboflavin (mg) 0.02, Niacin (mg) 0.2, Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 0.04, Folate (g) 4.03, Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (g) 0, sodium (mg) 61, Potassium (mg) 36, calcium (mg) 10.1, iron (mg) 0.36, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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